It’s the second day of the new year and the majority of us are heading back to work after having great vacations and spending quality time with family, friends and loved ones. There’s always excitement about the new year because its a time that we can reset and start anew. But for some of you, though you are thankful to have a job to return, you are secretly wishing that you were returning to a new role too–one that is more fulfilling, more exciting, and more challenging.
As you begin the year and start your annual development planning, I want to encourage you to start by branding you. The beginning of the New Year is the perfect time to work on your brand, because it prepares you for opportunities that will be presented throughout the year. When people know your brand, they will be able to share the appropriate opportunities. Likewise, when you know your brand, you will be able to filter through the fluff and say ‘yes’ to your dream opportunity.
Your brand represents a promise of quality and excellence. It will determine your value in the job marketplace, and ultimately how successful you will be at navigating your job transitions and securing the career of your dreams. Your brand is the whole you and encompasses your physical, intellectual, and emotional aspects.
To start creating your brand, answer these 3 questions:
Who Are You?
As you begin to seek opportunities, it is critical that you first know yourself. This will enable you to communicate your goals, as well as your capabilities, clearly and consistently. When exploring this aspect, consider things like your passions, strengths, limitations, values, learning style, etc.
It’s also recommended to solicit feedback from peers, supervisors, and family about how you are perceived so that you have a holistic view of your brand.
What is Your Target?
Determine the kind of job position and industry that you desire. Conduct thorough research and try to learn what decision makers in that field are looking for when they’re assessing candidates. Take note of the keywords and content that will get their attention. Identify your competition and determine what attributes differentiate you from them.
What is Your Approach?
Once you have determined who you are and your target, you are ready to develop a personal brand mantra. It should clearly communicate who you are and be simple, honest, and memorable. You will then develop an online and in person strategy to market your brand to your target. An important step in your strategy should be periodic evaluation to ensure relevancy and brand integrity.
Developing your brand is a process. It is something that will require time and dedication and perhaps some coaching. But once you have established your brand, it will be well worth it. It will ultimately determine how successful you will be towards achieving that goal of moving into a new role in 2013.